precipitation

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French précipitation, from Latin praecipitatio

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

precipitation ‎(countable and uncountable, plural precipitations)

  1. (meteorology) Any or all of the forms of water particles, whether liquid or solid, that fall from the atmosphere (e.g., rain, hail, snow or sleet). It is a major class of hydrometeor, but it is distinguished from cloud, fog, dew, rime, frost, etc., in that it must fall. It is distinguished from cloud and virga in that it must reach the ground.
  2. A hurried headlong fall.
  3. (countable, chemistry) A reaction that leads to the formation of a heavier solid in a lighter liquid; the precipitate so formed at the bottom of the container.
  4. (figuratively) Unwise or rash rapidity; sudden haste.
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, The Haunted House
      The young man thanked me, and took his leave with some little precipitation, after declining a glass of liquor.
    • Dorothy Sayers
      [] had acted with some precipitation and had probably started out upon a wild-goose chase.

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